I’ve written about Lilia Efimova’s excellent PhD research before, and now she’s written another really good post. It’s structured around this table:
This is a really nice taxonomy, and there’s not a whole lot that needs to be added to it. I suppose I take a bit more of an evolutionary view of academic blogging. You can use the blog to generate variety – which corresponds with Lilia’s low-level blog entry creation. You just use the blog to generate ideas, and it can also function as a catalog of the ideas that you’ve generated in this way. You can also use a blog to help with idea selection, by looking at which ideas people respond to (this can be in terms of number of readers, comments, trackbacks, amount of controversy generated, etc.). Or you can blog to help get your ideas replicated – to get them to spread. This maps on to a couple of different categories of Lilia’s.
In my previous post, Marco commented about how he has found more value from wikis than blogs. He uses wikis really well, so I can see why he says that. On the other hand, I was talking with my friend Alex over the weekend about electronic communication, and how each new medium requires the acquisition of a new set of skill sets. For me, I pretty much know how to make a blog work, so that is mostly what I stick with. I’m not sure that there is one method that is best for everyone… In part, the media that you choose will depend on which of three evolutionary functions you are most interested in achieving, as well as which suits your personal communication style.